Seeking relief from acid reflux and heartburn? Dive into ER of Texas expert advice on the best and worst foods, helping you make informed dietary choices for a happier, more comfortable stomach.

The Best and Worst Foods for Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Acid Reflux and Heartburn: Foods To Eat & Avoid

Many people experience occasional heartburn or acid reflux. Heartburn is the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, and it’s often caused by what you eat. Thankfully, there are certain foods that are known to reduce, relieve, and help heartburn.

If you experience acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have a more serious condition called GERD.

Acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive issues that can cause discomfort and disrupt your daily life. While medication and lifestyle changes play a crucial role in managing these conditions, your diet also plays a significant role. In this blog, we'll explore the best and worst foods for acid reflux and heartburn, helping you make informed choices to promote better digestive health.

Also see: 10 Ways to Get Rid of Indigestion Fast

What is acid reflux or GERD?

Chronic acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD), is a condition caused by the flow of contents from the stomach upward into the esophagus. What’s behind the burn: a weakening or malfunctioning of a ring of muscle at the base of the esophagus, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When this doesn’t close properly, any acid-containing contents of your stomach can flow back up into the esophagus.

While antacids and other over-the-counter medications can help tame stomach acid, dietary tweaks can reduce the frequency and intensity of symptoms such as heartburn. But keep in mind that “every person is different,” so your doctor or a registered dietitian can help identify which specific foods may ease your heartburn.

Here are best foods that can help you find relief from heartburn or GERD.

1. High fiber foods.

According to a small 2018 World Journal of Gastroenterology study, high-fiber consumption may minimize issues with GERD. That’s a good thing, high-fiber foods make you feel full and you’re less likely to overeat which can contribute to heartburn. What’s more, oatmeal in particular absorbs stomach acid. Other high-fiber options are whole-grain bread, brown rice and quinoa,as well as green vegetables such as asparagus, broccoli and brussels sprouts. Also fiber can’t work unless there is also enough fluid in your diet, so make sure to drink plenty of water.

2. Bananas.

This low-acid or alkaline fruit can help neutralize stomach acid by coating an irritated esophageal lining. And not only are bananas alkaline, they’re also rich in pectin — a soluble fiber that helps keeps food flowing nicely through the digestive tract. This can help you feel full longer, so you’re less likely to overeat.

Other alkaline foods include:

  • Melons (particularly cantaloupe and honeydew)
  • Grains (like wild rice, oats and quinoa)
  • Cauliflower
  • Almonds

Also see: What You Need to Know About Heartburn

3. Salad greens.

Pile up your plate! These mild green leafy veggies are alkaline, so they’re easy on the gut and won’t cause painful gas. In fact, a small 2017 study, published in JAMA Otalaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery, showed that people who followed a plant-based Mediterranean diet heavy in such produce reported less frequent acid reflux symptoms. Just resist the urge to add high-fat dressings, acidic vinaigrettes or toppings such as onions, which can trigger GERD.

4. Dairy.

Milk and yogurt act as a temporary buffer, soothing heartburn symptoms. Milk and yogurt coat the esophagus so you don’t feel that acid irritating that lining. Yogurt is rich in probiotics, which promote a healthy balance of bacteria in your gut, helping with digestion — along with upping absorption of nutrients. Opt for skim or low-fat varieties rather than those made from whole milk. Foods that are higher in fat can cause more reflux.

Also see: The Ultimate Guide To Eating Well For Much, Much Less

5. Ginger tea.

A cup or two a day may offer a triple whammy of benefits. Not only is this soothing drink alkaline, it’s also anti-inflammatory, which can help relieve gastroesophageal irritation and soothe the stomach. Ginger can also help ease nausea — helpful for those vulnerable to vomiting during acid reflux episodes.

6. Salmon.

Those heart-boosting omega-3 fatty acids are just for starters. This pinkish fish — along with other lean proteins such as chicken and turkey — is always a smart choice. Salmon is easy to digest and won’t linger in your stomach for a long time, reducing your risk of reflux. If you choose chicken or turkey, remember to remove the fatty skin and opt for baking, broiling or grilling, instead of frying. Add flavor with herbs (think parsley and basil) instead of spices, if they bother your belly.

7. Water-based foods.

Gut-friendly water-based foods like celery, cucumber and watermelon can help counteract stomach acid. Like its name suggests, watermelon is made up of 92 percent water and has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which helps ease digestion.

Also see: 7 Foods That Are Bad For Lung Health

8. Root vegetables.

Root vegetables — think sweet potatoes, carrots and beets — boast soluble fiber, which is easy to digest. They also do a nice job of filling you up so you don’t overeat, which can lead to heartburn. Need more reasons to put a fork in it? These nutrient powerhouses are not spicy or acidic, or high in fat.

Foods that cause heartburn

Adjusting your diet may play a key role in managing the symptoms of GERD. You may well find one or more of the following eight foods pops up as a problem, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you should completely remove them from your diet. Moderation is key. Experts say you can uncover your specific triggers by paying close attention to how your body reacts to what you’re eating.

1. Fried, fatty foods.

Foods that are high in fat and drenched in oil (bacon, sausage, french fries, potato chips and doughnuts, to name a few) are digested slowly and sit in your stomach longer, giving gastric acid more time to work its way up into your esophagus, increasing your risk of heartburn. And high-fat food can cause weight gain. That extra poundage increases pressure on your abdomen, making it easier for fluid to travel upward into the esophagus. Tip: Opt instead for lean cuts of meat, chicken and fish, cooked on the grill or in the oven.

2. Citrus fruits.

Their vitamin C may be the draw, but these fruits’ high acid content makes them risky for reflux. (Our stomachs naturally produce a lot of acid; why make things worse?) Lemons and limes are the biggest culprits, but oranges, grapefruit, grapes and blueberries make the list, too.

Also see: 7 Tips to Lower Blood Sugar Naturally

3. Tomatoes.

Also highly acidic, this common base for many meals can aggravate an already cranky digestive tract — and no, cooking tomatoes won’t help. Tip: If you can’t resist the robust flavor of marinara sauce, neutralize the acid by adding one-quarter teaspoon of baking soda to your recipe.

4. Chocolate.

Savoring a few pieces of Godiva chocolates probably won’t do a lot of damage, but polishing off half the box in one sitting may. Cacao is naturally acidic and can trigger a nasty burn — and the high fat content won’t do your digestion any favors.

5. Peppermint.

A cup of refreshing, mint-infused tea can calm a turbulent tummy. But peppermint, in any form, can also cause gastric reflux and heartburn. Tip: Savor a cup of soothing chamomile tea or suck on licorice-flavored hard candy to soothe your stomach.

6. Carbonated beverages.

The bubbles in carbonated beverages are like air pockets, expanding in your belly. This increases pressure on the esophageal sphincter, increasing the risk for acid to reflux into the esophagus. Tip: Try decaf iced tea or dress up tap water with slices of cucumber.

Also see: 15 Foods You Can Eat Without Gaining Weight

7. Coffee.

While studies on the subject are mixed, some have shown that caffeinated beverages may impair the function of the muscles that separate the esophagus and stomach. What’s more, drinking caffeinated coffee may also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces.

Also see: Stress Relieving Foods

8. Alcohol.

More reasons to drink in moderation: Alcohol can irritate the esophagus and make the stomach produce more acid. Excessive drinking may also relax that gateway of the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. Tip: When it comes to wine, white is more acidic than red and may cause more heartburn. Beer is acidic, and it’s carbonated — both bad news. But it has a lower alcohol content compared with other alcoholic beverages, and may be better for heartburn. Prefer the stronger stuff? Know this: Darker drinks (brandy, whiskey and dark rum) contain compounds called congeners, which can increase stomach irritation and heartburn symptoms.

If acid reflux or heartburn is impacting your quality of life, or if you have acid reflux more than twice a week, please visit or call the Closest Emergency Room for the immediate medical help. We have board-certified physicians, nurses and staff to help you recover and give appropriate advice.

We have ER locations across the Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area that are open and here to help you 24/7 If you or your family have a medical emergency.

We have 9 facilities spread across the DFW area with average wait times of less than 10 mins that are OPEN 24/7 located in Hurst, Colleyville, Frisco, Highland Village, Hillcrest, Uptown, Little Elm, Mansfield, and Texoma.